Part 3 – Start with Self-Communication
Good communication starts with good self-communication. Communication with the self is a lifelong love affair.
Most people avoid communicating with themselves and go straight to someone else to validate their position. They look to others for answers to their questions, relying on someone else’s view of the world. They look for someone to reinforce what they think.
This form of validation never works.
Instead of trying to find your clone, start communication with the person who knows you better than anyone. No one knows you better than you. You are the expert of your life.
Self-communication begins when you depend on yourself for your answers and only see external stimulus as an expression of your internal process.
Self-communication is not self-talk.
Self-talk is an unhelpful inner dialogue that is ready to deliver the same results you have already experienced. It is created from your family and society value system, and labels your experiences as good or bad. Self-talk is easy to recognize because its voice is usually judgmental.
Self-talk can be negative or unrealistically positive in its voice. It can sound like, “What is wrong with me? I am so stupid” or “I am just too good for him.” Self-talk originates in your past, comes through your subconscious, and plays its message in your head without your permission.
The good news is the subconscious can be re-programmed. That is the voice you began relinquishing in last week’s exercises.
Members of the groups you associate with usually hold similar opinions on reality, thereby supporting your family value system and enhancing your self-talk. You hold yourself in line by inserting into your inner dialogue the commentary of religious groups, cultural groups, political groups, charitable groups, and groups of friends.
Some groups you join at birth, others you join later. It doesn’t matter whether you are in rebellion or in acceptance of the experience. You can love your family or hate your family—both perpetuate the illusion that your experience creates your self-worth, which in turn creates your self-talk.
For example, if a family believes that a woman who is unmarried at 35 will never marry, her self-talk could sound like this: “I am never going to be married.” “I will always be alone.” “No one is going to want someone my age.”
Self-talk influenced by society could sound like this: “My breasts are too small.” “My thighs are too big.” “Pretty women are never taken seriously.” “I don’t have a man because men are intimidated by me.” “No one wants me because I am not perfect.” “I am too perfect for them.”
It’s time to tune out self-talk.
The antidote to self-talk is your Objective Viewer, so put her to use. She has complete access to your intelligence and personal history. She has all your answers.
Let your Objective Viewer satisfy your need to be heard. She will put everything in context. For example, if you are projecting your fear of getting hurt into a new relationship (causing you to be aloof and skeptical), then your Objective Viewer can listen to your fears. She can remind you that this is a different man and you can trust yourself to know when it is safe to open your heart.
And if you are making assumptions about his behavior and reading your own meaning into his actions (such as when he is not calling as much, assuming he must be pulling away), then your Objective Viewer can listen to your concerns and remind you to clarify his intent with curiosity.
Once you have solid self-communication and you have tuned out self-talk, you can communicate effectively even with the poorest of communicators. You can have beautiful relationships with anyone if you know how to communicate properly with yourself. And in the presence of a good communicator, even the poorest communicators find themselves being articulate in ways they have never been before. They feel safe to be themselves.
We’ve all been around that person who is easy to talk to and who makes us feel comfortable. It’s your turn to be that person. Here’s how.
A good communicator owns her fears and hurts. She does not project her emotions onto another person. For example, she does not take her anger about herself or someone else out on the person in front of her. She can express her emotions honestly and listen to other people talk about their emotions without rejecting them.
A good communicator speaks with clarity. She listens without judgment. She does not abandon her opinions for other people’s acceptance. She holds to her own views while being open to other perspectives. This is power. This allows her to hear the other person, even the one who says little.
A good communicator never assumes the other person understands the meaning of what she is saying, nor does she assume she understands their meaning. She knows that the word “apple” might mean a Red Delicious apple to one person and a Granny Smith tart green apple to another. A good communicator gently clarifies what she is saying.
It sounds like this: “Please let me clarify what I am saying. It is like blank” (giving an example the other person can relate to). When you use a common metaphor to clarify what you are saying, people relate very quickly.
A good communicator also gently clarifies what she is hearing. It sounds like this: “Am I understanding you correctly? Do you mean blank?” Parrot back what you thought you heard as close to the other person’s words as possible.
If you are on the same page, stop there. If you don’t understand, seek clarity with curiosity. It sounds like this: “Would you expand on your thought? I am curious, what do you mean when you say blank?”
A good communicator holds the person in front of her in unconditional positive regard. Unconditional positive regard is a powerful tool. It is a sign of being in the present. When you are emanating unconditional positive regard, clarity, and lack of personal agenda, you have the basis for true communication with your Mr. Man.
Practice the following exercise every day for the next five days.
Infinite Possibilities is an exercise that helps you put your past where it belongs: in the past. You can use it anytime you desire insight about your feelings, emotions, or behavior. It will help you find and implement alternative responses in any situation.
Example: You are upset because his apple is green and yours is red. Maybe you picked another loser. He looked like he had so much potential.
Stop! Do the following.
Close your eyes and imagine your present-self drifting out of your body. Joining you is your Objective Viewer, who sees everything clearly.
Imagine you are hovering above yourself. Below you can see your life in a straight horizontal line. Along the line in one direction is the past: the good times, the other times, holidays, birthdays, work, and fun, all the way back to your birth. In the other direction is the future: your dreams, your potential, and where you’d like to go in life.
Ask your Objective Viewer to take you to a time in the past that is connected to the emotions at hand. Watch both of you float down your timeline until you come to a place where she stops. Take some time to view the situation below. Don’t force any particular image; simply work with what is presented.
Float down to the scene and introduce yourself and your Objective Viewer to your past you. Make friends with her. Tell her you are from her future and you are here to help. Ask her the positive intent of her feelings, emotions, and behavior. For what purpose does she use them? Tell her she has done a wonderful job, and you would like to give her new possibilities to use when she feels called upon to react to this type of situation.
If your past self doesn’t understand, continue assuring her that she has done a good job. Offer to show her different ways to handle the situation.
Once you get a yes—and you will get a yes—use your imagination to think of new ways to view and respond to the situation. Suggest them to the past you, as an alternative to the behavior she uses when she feels threatened. Agree on three or four new ways and look for a sign of agreement, such as a feeling, a nod, or a wink.
Then tell her that, along with these new possibilities, you have a great gift for her, a bag of infinite possibilities that she can use any time she needs more options. Hand her a bag filled with glowing, glittering possibilities. This bag will automatically generate new possibilities whenever she needs them.
Also let the past you know that along with all these new ways to see the situation, she has full access to you and your Objective Viewer anytime she needs help. She can call upon both of you for help in any situation.
Have a big hug. Then float out of the scene, travel back to the present and get back inside your body. You have just communicated with yourself, your behavior, your feelings, and your emotions—and with the only person who knows what you mean when you say “apple.”